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More Angelenos Riding Buses, Boarding Trains Thanks to Smartphone Technology

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More people are taking public transportation in Los Angeles, partly in response to Mayor Villaraigosa's push for dependable mass public transit and Metro's newly implemented Expo line, which opened two new stations last June.

Other reasons for the upswing in ridership, according to Metro, include fluctuating gas prices and the public's increasing demand for cost and time-efficient means of getting from point A to B.

Collectively, Metro rail ridership increased by 1.8 million total boardings from October 2011 to October 2012, notching a total 23% surge throughout Los Angeles County.

L.A. County buses are also serving a higher level of riders--1.19 million on a given weekday, which registers as 2.1% increase in ridership from October 2011.

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Metro attributes smartphone technology and convenient apps like "NextBus," that show riders when their buses arrive to the upswing in ridership. Riders can also follow Metro service alerts on Twitter to eliminate idle waiting time.

Statistics supplied by Metro are a positive indication that Angelenos value dependable public transport, even after Measure J--the proposed extension of a half-cent sales tax to fund more comprehensive transit infrastructure, failed to get the two-thirds majority to pass, despite garnering 65% of the vote.